Electrical Wiring and Electrical Repairs

Wiring a Kitchen Oven

oven ©Copyright
Summary: Kitchen Electric Oven Installation with a typical 240 Volt electric circuit with 3-wire and 4-wire configurations.

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How to Wire an Oven: 3Wire and 4Wire Configurations

3-Wire Configuration
Most older homes had 240 volt kitchen oven circuits wired with a 3-wire cable consisting of 2-hot wires and a ground wire. Fortunately most electric ovens can be wired to work with either a 3-wire or 4-wire circuit.

4-Wire Configuration
All new installations require a 4-wire 240 volt circuit circuit which has a separate insulated neutral wire and the separate ground wire along with the 2-hot wires of the appropriate wire size depending on the oven that is being installed.

In some cases where the home is older than the new electric oven here's what you would have to do: Where the wires are connected to the electric oven you will need to install the Bonding Crimp Sleeve to Bond the Grounded Wire and the Neutral Wire as shown in the 3-WIRE HOOK UP wiring diagram below. The Grounded Wire is attached to the metal frame of the electric oven internally and is usually located inside the oven junction box enclosure.

Electrical Wiring for a Three and Four Wire Oven Connection


The following steps apply ONLY if the oven specifically states that it can be wired for either 3-Wire OR 4-Wire Connections. Some new ovens may require a Separate Insulated Neutral Wire AND a Separate Ground Wire for a 4-Wire Connection Only.
wiring-diagram-oven-3-wire wiring-diargan-oven-4-wire
The oven shown here can be wired for a 3-wire connection or a 4-wire connection as described in the attached wiring specifications.

Be sure to consult your oven installation manual
specifications for the configuration that is allowed.

Below are examples of the most common situations:
Converting an older
240 volt 3-wire circuit
to a new electric oven with 4-wires. Typically the newer oven will allow the ground and neutral to be bonded together and connected to the ground wire of the 240 volt circuit.
Converting a newer
240 volt 4-wire circuit
to an older electric oven with 3-wires.
The white or neutral wire of the circuit is capped off and not used.

More About Wiring an Oven


Can a Oven Circuit be Used for a Water Heater?

Glen asks:
I have a 220 volt circuit coming in to my oven, can I use that line to provide power for a water heater?
No, you cannot do this. Each of these devices needs to have their own dedicated circuit of power, and they both have their own specified amount of power. The water heater requires a dedicated 30 amp 240 volt circuit. Placing the water heater on the same circuit as the oven will overload the oven circuit and cause it to trip the circuit breaker off.

Wiring Connections for a 240 Volt Oven

I have a 1980's Home, with a 3-wire 240 volt circuit which is Aluminum. I would like to know how to connect his cable to my new stove.
The Cable Wires are:
1-black insulation, 1-black with 2 red lines insulation and a bare ground.
Does the black wire with red lines go to red on stove? Does it matter if the 2 hot are switched?

Dave's Reply:
Daniel, here is the typical 240 volt wiring connections:

Circuit Black wire to Black wire of the Oven.
Circuit Black with Red to Red wire of the Oven.
Circuit Ground, Green or Bare wire with Oven Green or Bare.
* It does not matter if the Black and Red wires are reversed with 240 volt oven wiring.
* Some 4-wire ovens do permit bonding the White Neutral wire to the Ground wire. Check the Electrical Connections in your installation manual to be sure.

Questions about Wiring an Oven

Is it OK to install a new 4-wire oven, with black, red, white and green wires?

  • I just removed a wall oven in a house built in 1994. I discovered that the supply to the junction box for the oven (on its own separate circuit) is Type SE 8AWG aluminum, with two black wires and the neutral being the twisted-strand insulated type. It is my understanding that NEC allows me to install a new 4-wire oven, with black oven wire to black, red oven to black, and white/green oven to insulated. Also, that I should coat the connections with an anti-oxidizing compound and use special purple wire nuts. Is this correct?

This electrical question came from: Greg, a Handyman from Tigard, Oregon.


  • Greg, This depends on the oven that you have. Some ovens require a separate insulated neutral wires and a ground. Consult the installation manual that came with the oven for specific details.
  • Anti-corrosion compound is required when splicing aluminum and copper wires together, and the wire connector must be UL Rated for AL/CU wires.

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